ABQ Free Valentines Weekend Balloon Rally

February 8, 2015 by  
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We don’t have to wait till Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to see the skies dotted with a fleet of balloons!

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend, with the Free Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally on the mornings of February 14 and 15, 2015. More than 135+ balloons including special shapes will launch from Balloon Fiesta Park, and it’s free to roll up and watch, so take your sweetie or family to cuddle up to in the cool morning. Balloons launch at sunrise – just a couple of minutes before 7 am.

The balloon rally by local pilots is a Valentine’s tradition, organized by the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association.

–Tania


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ABQ Free Balloon Rally

February 5, 2013 by  
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We don’t have to wait till Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to see the skies dotted with a fleet of balloons!

Love is in the air this weekend in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, with the Free Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally on the mornings of February 9 and 10, 2013. Well over 100 balloons will launch from Balloon Fiesta Park, and it’s free to roll up and watch, so take your sweetie or family to cuddle up to in the cool morning. Balloons launch around sunrise – 7 am. The balloon rally by local pilots is a Valentine’s tradition, organized by the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association.

This weekend also sees the opening of a new exhibit at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, to celebrate Albuquerque’s special relationship with hot air balloons and the history of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

‘We Fill The Sky With Dreams’ opens on February 9 and runs until March 30. If you’re going to the balloon rally on Sunday morning, you’d be smart to head over afterward to see this new exhibit, as Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum admission is free on Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm.

–Tania

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Holidays Take Flight at the Balloon Museum

November 28, 2012 by  
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Santa in a balloon? Well, nearly. Meet Balloon Pilot Santa in this festive free event for all the family!

Holidays Take Flight at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum from 11 am – 3 pm on Sunday December 2.  

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum will host seasonal merry-making  including live entertainment, decorating cookies, making balloon holiday cards, and the launch of a remote-controlled hot air balloon – weather permitting.  AND of course meet Balloon Pilot Santa and take pictures!

Admission is free, and according to info received from the museum, the entertainment line-up includes:

  • 11 am – New Mexico holiday music from Los Primos and a performance by the Enchantment Handbell Ensemble. Wow, the Ensemble is going to be busy this weekend! They’re playing at the Festival of Trees too. Their bells will be all (w)rung out! Ha!
  • 12 noon – A sing-along holiday concert with Susie Tallman & Friends
  • 1 pm – Carols from the Manzano High School choir
  • 2 pm – Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer and dances

This event also includes a New Mexico Holiday Shopping Village, featuring Rock Me Baby Records, Zap Oh!, Bounce-n-Boogie, Costitas, Glo’s Bows and other retailers, for your gift shopping delight. The museum’s own gift store also has some rather cool things in it – I love browsing in there. Hot chocolate and holiday treats will be available for purchase.

If you care to take along a new and unwrapped toy for Albuquerque kids in need, the Balloon Museum will accept donations during the event for the Toys for Tots program organized by the US Marine Corps.

Holidays Take Flight at the Balloon Museum

  • When:  Sunday December 2, 2012
  • Time:  11 am – 3 pm
  • Where:  Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
  • Price:  Free admission to the museum and event

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is located at 9201 Balloon Museum NE.

–Tania

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ABQ Trolley Glow Tours

August 1, 2012 by  
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Plan in advance for the ABQ Trolley Co. Glow Tours during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Tickets are likely to sell out fast…

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from October 6 – 14, 2012, and tickets go on sale today, August 1, for the 2012 ABQ Trolley Glow Tours.  ABQ Trolley Co. run the tours on every evening there’s a Balloon Fiesta event, on October 6, 7, 11, 12, and 13, and tickets cost $55 including tax.

Although the tickets cost $5 more than last year, I reckon this is still a very good deal – and a unique night out –  as the package includes:

  • The round-trip ride on the trolley (avoiding the traffic! Need I say more?)
  • Admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Admission to the Chasers’ Club hospitality tent, including a hot dish, some beverages, and pastries
  • Admission to the private Chaser’s Lounge, with its bar and live music
  • Time to watch the Balloon Glow events and fireworks before you leave on the return trolley
  • A guide on the trolley and Albuquerque trivia while you ride, including local business giveaways

There are only 34 seats on the trolley, and last year those seats filled fast!  Evening events are on October 6, 7, 11, 12, and 13. My own favorite is the Special Shape Glowdeo. You kind of wonder how those balloons can ever fly, with shapes from Darth Vadar to giant houses.

Note that there are no refunds on these Albuquerque Trolley Co. tickets. Even if a Balloon Glow is cancelled due to wind or weather, the trolley still rolls, and there are still activities at Balloon Fiesta Park.

ABQ Trolley Co.  Trolley Glow tours depart at 5 pm from the Albuquerque Convention Center.

You need to book trolley tickets directly online with the ABQ Trolley Co., but here’s the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta schedule for 2012 to help plan your visit.

–Tania

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New Mexico Children’s Fair

May 4, 2012 by  
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The New Mexico Children’s Fair, sometimes called the Albuquerque Children’s Fair, depending on who you’re listening to, takes place this weekend May 5 and 6, 2012, with plenty of family fun and activities.

The New Mexico Children’s Fair at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum isn’t free, but it’s the same low price as Balloon Museum admission, and it includes lots of stuff to do over the weekend. Entertainment and activities include:

  • Performances including music, dancers, and gymnastics
  • Free bicycle tune-ups if you take your bike
  • Old Town Gunslingers
  • See wolfs and wolf dogs, rattlesnakes, and birds
  • Climb a rock wall and play on jumpers
  • Storytellers, face-painting, balloon animals, and kids can plant seeds in containers to take home
  • Zumba session, hula hooping,  and strong man trials
  • A SWAT team, and firefighters simulating a kitchen fire to show kids how to escape from a burning room
  • A dog fashion show
  • Meet Orbit, the Albuquerque Isotopes mascot at 2 pm on Saturday May 5

Check out all the New Mexico Children’s Fair activities, and the entertainment schedule.

Balloon Museum admission covers much of the fun, although expect to pay extra for some activities – like the fundraiser Monster Truck rides ($5 donation in aid of UNM Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network) or get a bike helmet and decorate it with a $10 donation to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The usual Sunday morning Balloon Museum free admission hours were NOT in effect last year for this special event, and admission was charged at all times. I don’t know if that’s the same this year, but I’m just saying…

New Mexico Children’s Fair:

  • When: Saturday and Sunday May 5 and May 6, 2012
  • Time: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Where: Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
  • Price:  Adults:  $3. Seniors aged 65+:  $2. Children 4 – 12:  $1. Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day: March 14

March 13, 2012 by  
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The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day might be just the answer if you’re looking for something different (and cheap or even free) to do with the kids while they’re off school.

We mentioned this event a while ago, but in case you’ve gone spring break crazy and forgotten about it, here’s a reminder.

The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day is on Wednesday March 14, 2012.  Take a picnic to enjoy on the lawn, kids have plenty of space to run around there 😉 and join family day activities.

If you go for the free Stories in the Sky program from 9:30 to 10:15 am  you can stay on for the rest of the day’s activities for free too! After that, you pay regular museum admission.

The Stories in the Sky program is for kids aged 6 months to 6 years and is free for children and accompanying adults. For the Spring Break Family Day, the line-up includines music by Peri & the FAQs and stories by Laurie Magovern.

The rest of the Spring Break Family day activities run from 10:15 am – 3 pm and include:

  • Make a kite or windsock to fly outside, or take your own kite, plus kite-flying demonstrations.
  • Demonstrations of remote controlled hot-air balloons (they fly up to 20 feet high).
  • Games with bubbles and parachutes.
  • Balloon Explorium Inc. gives “hands-on balloon education.” That could be interesting… I know they often make and launch tissue paper balloons.
  • 11:30 am – 1 pm Live music by Mufari Marimba.
  • 12:45 – 2:45 pm – Balloon sculpture artist Tall Paul Magic.
  • Food vendor JP Custard will be on site, or take a picnic!

And of course you can check out the Balloon Museum exhibits while you’re there. I hope they’ll have the hot air balloon simulator in action. I love that gizmo – but always ‘land’ in the river.

Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day events come with regular museum admission:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents. Take NM resident ID to get the $1 off admission!
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Some activities depend on weather, so let’s hope it’s a warm and calm day. If you miss the Spring Break Family Day, then maybe take the family to the Balloon Museum on Sunday morning – it’s free admission for all every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm, barring Balloon Fiesta weeks.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day

March 6, 2012 by  
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The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day might be just the answer if you’re looking for something different (and cheap or even free) to do with the kids while they’re off school.

The Albuquerque Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day is on Wednesday March 14, 2012.  Take a picnic to enjoy on the lawn, kids have plenty of space to run around there 😉 and join family day activities.

If you go for the free Stories in the Sky program from 9:30 to 10:15 am  you can stay on for the rest of the day’s activities for free too! After that, you pay regular museum admission.

We mentioned Stories in the Sky in an ABQ on the Cheap post a few weeks ago.  The program is for kids aged 6 months to 6 years and is free for children and accompanying adults. For the Spring Break Family Day, the line-up includines music by Peri & the FAQs and stories by Laurie Magovern.

The rest of the Spring Break Family day activities run from 10:15 am – 3 pm and include:

  • Make a kite or windsock to fly outside, or take your own kite, plus kite-flying demonstrations.
  • Demonstrations of remote controlled hot-air balloons (they fly up to 20 feet high).
  • Games with bubbles and parachutes.
  • Balloon Explorium Inc. gives “hands-on balloon education.” That could be interesting… I know they often make and launch tissue paper balloons.
  • 11:30 am – 1 pm Live music by Mufari Marimba.
  • 12:45 – 2:45 pm – Balloon sculpture artist Tall Paul Magic.
  • Food vendor JP Custard will be on site, or take a picnic!

And of course you can check out the Balloon Museum exhibits while you’re there. I hope they’ll have the hot air balloon simulator in action. I love that gizmo – but always ‘land’ in the river.

Balloon Museum Spring Break Family Day events come with regular museum admission:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents. Take NM resident ID to get the $1 off admission!
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Some activities depend on weather, so let’s hope it’s a warm and calm day. If you miss the Spring Break Family Day, then maybe take the family to the Balloon Museum on Sunday morning – it’s free admission for all every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm, barring Balloon Fiesta weeks.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

–Tania

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Holidays Take Flight at the Balloon Museum

December 1, 2011 by  
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Santa in a balloon? Well, nearly. Meet Balloon Pilot Santa in this festive free event for all the family!

Holidays Take Flight at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum from 11 am – 4 pm on Sunday December 4.  (Mind you, we’ll all be taking flight if this wind keeps up…)

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum will host seasonal merry-making  including live entertainment, decorating holiday balloon cookies, card and ornament-making, and launches of remote-controlled hot air balloons – weather permitting.  AND of course meet Balloon Pilot Santa!

Admission is free, and the very multi-cultural entertainment includes:

  • A sing-along concert with Susie Tallman at 12 noon
  • Kwanza stories
  • Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer with Jewish music and dances
  • A Holiday Cumbia with Afro-Cuban drumming from Mala Mana
  • Albuquerque Enchantment Handbell Ensemble. Wow, they’re going to be busy this weekend! This is the third event I’ve mentioned with the Handbell Ensemble. Their bells will be all (w)rung out! Ha!

There’s plenty more entertainment too – see the full Holidays Take Flight schedule.

This year the event will also include a New Mexico Holiday Shopping Village, featuring ABQ Playroom, Bookworks, Out of the Blue Toys, Rock Me Baby Records, Zap Oh! and other retailers, for your gift shopping delight.

If you care to take along a new and unwrapped toy for Albuquerque kids in need, the Balloon Museum will accept donations during the event for the Toys for Tots program organized by the US Marine Corps.

Holidays Take Flight at the Balloon Museum

  • When:  Sunday December 4, 2011
  • Time:  11 am – 4 pm
  • Where:  Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
  • Price:  Free admission to the museum and event

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is located at 9201 Balloon Museum NE.

–Tania

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ABQ Trolley Glow Tours

August 1, 2011 by  
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Plan in advance for the ABQ Trolley Co. Glow Tours during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Tickets are likely to sell out fast…

The 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from October 1 – 9, 2011, and tickets have just become available for the 2011 ABQ Trolley Glow Tours.  ABQ Trolley Co. run the tours on every evening there’s a Balloon Fiesta event, and tickets cost $50 including tax.

I reckon this is a very good deal – and a unique night out –  as the package includes:

  • The round-trip ride on the trolley (avoiding the traffic! Need I say more?)
  • Admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Admission to the Chasers’ Club hospitality tent, including a hot dish, some beverages, and pastries
  • Admission to the private Chaser’s Lounge, with its bar and live music
  • Time to watch the Balloon Glow events and fireworks before you leave on the return trolley
  • A guide on the trolley and Albuquerque trivia while you ride, including local business giveaways

There are only 34 seats on the trolley, and last year those seats filled fast!  At time of writing, tickets are available for all the evening events, on October 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.  My own favorite is the Special Shape Glowdeo. You kind of wonder how those balloons can ever fly, with shapes from Darth Vadar to giant houses.

Note that there are no refunds on these Albuquerque Trolley Co. tickets. Even if a Balloon Glow is cancelled due to wind or weather, the trolley still rolls, and there are still activities at Balloon Fiesta Park.

ABQ Trolley Co.  Trolley Glow tours depart at 5 pm from the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Here’s the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta schedule for 2011 to help plan your visit, although you need to book trolley tickets directly online with the ABQ Trolley Co.

–Tania

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Albuquerque Children’s Fair

April 27, 2011 by  
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The Albuquerque Children’s Fair, aka the New Mexico Children’s Fair, depending on who you’re listening to, takes place April 30 and May 1, 2011, with plenty of family fun and activities.

The Albuquerque Children’s Fair at the Balloon Museum includes:

  • Live entertainment
  • Old Town Gunslingers
  • Rescued wildlife and a petting zoo and meet Eeo the Eurasian eagle owl
  • Climb a rock wall and play on jumpers
  • Clowns and storytelling 
  • A SWAT van and bomb robot
  • Tug of war and obstacle courses
  • Hula hooping
  • Crafts, face painting and balloon magic
  • Pitch or play hoops with Isotopes and NM Thunderbirds mascots
  • A fundraiser mural for the UNM Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network – kids add to the mural helped by Lobos athletes and footballers
  • Plus of course… food vendors!

Check out all the Albuquerque Children’s Fair activities, and the staged entertainment schedule.

Balloon Museum admission covers much of the fun, although expect to pay extra for some activities – like the fundraiser Monster Truck rides ($5). For this special event, the usual Sunday morning free admission hours are NOT in effect and admission will be charged at all times.

Albuquerque / New Mexico Children’s Fair:

  • When: Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1, 2011
  • Time: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Where: Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Price:  Regular Balloon Museum admission:

  • Adults:  $4, or $3 for New Mexico residents. Take NM resident ID to get the $1 off admission!
  • Seniors aged 65+:  $2
  • Children 4 – 12:  $1
  • Kids aged 3 and under get in free!

Although Balloon Museum admission is usually free on Sunday morning from 9 am to 1 pm… it’s NOT free on May 1 during the Children’s Fair!

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE.

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